|Isaiah Thomas once again leads Celtics, but Jaylen Brown intrigues in win over Hornets, too||01.16.17 at 10:00 pm ET|
Isaiah Thomas once again reminded us what time it is, but after watching the Celtics beat the Hornets on Monday night, I’m fascinated by Jaylen Brown.
The rookie didn’t do much down the stretch of the 108-98 victory — he was at least on the floor for much of the fourth quarter when Thomas delivered his nightly explosion — but we’re starting to get a clearer picture of his skill set.
Brown scored seven points in the first half by highlighting his explosive athleticism. He went coast-to-coast for a basket right before the half, he made an acrobatic layup inside while heavily defended, and he led another break that ended with a tough hoop inside after he laid the ball down to Jonas Jerebko and then got it back.
Brown almost completely lacks any semblance of an outside game, which is ultimately going to decide what kind of an impact he’ll make as a pro. He’s also got that lost-in-headlights look at times, too. But considering that he’s only 20 years old and is basically taking a red-shirt rookie season, the skills he’s exhibiting suggest an intriguing future.
“Jaylen Brown played one of his best games of the season,” head coach Brad Stevens told Comcast’s Abby Chin on the postgame show.
What is he? Your guess is as good as mine. As athletic as he may be, it’s also worth noting that Michael Kidd-Gilchrist cleanly turned him away at the rim on a two-handed dunk attempt in the fourth quarter. He’s not such a high-flyer that he can just throw down on anyone.
Brown had a great view while Thomas went off during another monster fourth quarter, where he scored 17 of his game-high 35. Thomas did it everywhere except from the free throw line, becoming the first Celtic since Larry Bird in 1984 to score at least 35 points without a free throw.
Thomas’s best basket may have been a corner jumper over Hornets big man Cody Zeller that started with a reverse dribble into an up-fake that got the 7-footer off his feet before Thomas calmly drilled the shot in his face.
“Isaiah doesn’t even come up to his lettahs!” broadcaster Tommy Heinsohn yelled.
Al Horford scored 22, and Kelly Olynyk and Jae Crowder added 15 points apiece as the Celtics (26-15) hit the official halfway point of the season with 13 wins in their last 16 games.
|Report: Hornets give Thibodeau more time to decide||06.04.10 at 7:20 am ET|
According to an ESPN report, the New Orleans Hornets decided to give Celtics assistant coach Tom Thibodeau at least one more day to accept their offer to be their head coach. The report says the Hornets offered Thibodeau the position last week, but Thibodeau did not accept by Thursday’s deadline, one day after he interviewed with the Chicago Bulls. Thibodeau also reportedly interviewed with the New Jersey Nets earlier in the week. New Orleans is said to be ready to offer its job to Trail Blazers assistant Monty Williams if Thibodeau does not commit soon.
|Report: Thibodeau in running for Bulls job||05.31.10 at 8:55 am ET|
Reports last week indicated that the Hornets were ready to offer their head coaching job to Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau, and a story by Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo!Sports late Sunday night says the team has begun contract discussions with Thibodeau’s representatives at Creative Artists Agency. However, a story out of Illinois’ Daily Herald Monday morning notes that the Bulls have interest in him as well, and multiple reports say that Thibodeau plans to remain in discussions for the Nets job.
Daily Herald reporter Mike McGraw writes that Thibodeau and former Trail Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks are the favorites in Chicago. But the story indicates that Lakers assistant Brian Shaw (a former Celtic) now is being pushed by LeBron James associate William Wesley, who previously was campaigning for John Calipari. The rumor is that James would be interested in playing the triangle offense made popular by Phil Jackson, and Shaw has spent five seasons alongside Jackson learning the intricacies of the offense.
A side note: Creative Artists Agency, with whom Thibodeau recently signed, also represents James and fellow high-profile free agents Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
The Yahoo!Sports report notes that Thibodeau risks losing out on the Hornets job if he decides to wait on the Bulls and/or Nets. Trail Blazers assistant Monty Williams reportedly is the Hornets’ second choice, with some players, including star guard Chris Paul, said to prefer Williams.
|Doc: No formal Hornets offer for Thibodeau||05.27.10 at 6:08 pm ET|
Doc Rivers said on a conference call Thursday that the New Orleans Hornets have not made assistant coach Tom Thibodeau an offer to become their next head coach. “No, not yet,” Rivers said. “I’m hoping they do soon. He deserves it. I haven’t heard much. Thibs and I do talk about it. So we’re just hoping.”
As a follow-up, Rivers was asked if this was a distraction. “I’m not worried about it,” Rivers said. “There’s nobody that’s going to work harder than Tom Thibodeau. Ever. He will never be a distraction. That’s the one guy I have no concern with. I’m not worried about it all.”
Thibodeau has been one of the hottest names in coaching with several teams, including Charlotte, New Jersey and Chicago all said to be interested in him for a head coaching job. The Hornets had seemed to jump to the head of the line with several outlets reporting that they had made him an offer, although Hornets general manager Jeff Bower denied it.
|Thibodeau interviews with Hornets||05.07.10 at 9:36 am ET|
Hornets spokesman Harold Kaufman said general manager Jeff Bower and team president Hugh Weber met with the two candidates along with with Gary Chouest, who has agreed to a deal with George Shin to become the majority owner of the team.
The Hornets now have interviewed five candidates, including former Mavericks coach Avery Johnson, current Mavericks assistant Dwane Casey and former NBA coach Mike Fratello.
|Fast Break: Celtics vs. Hornets||02.10.10 at 10:34 pm ET|
At what point does a string of bad performances become a problem that can’t be fixed? At what point does the Celtics uninspired second-half play inspire Danny Ainge to do something to change the mix?
Ainge was a guest on The Big Show hours before the Celtics collapsed (again) in the third quarter of a 93-85 loss to the Hornets Wednesday night and said he was, “not ready to blow it up.” [Click here for a full transcript]. If the Magic breakdown wasn’t enough to change Ainge’s mind, was this one?
There’s a week to go before the trade deadline and the Celtics have shown few signs of breaking out of their funk, which has now stretched to 23 games. The Celtics are 10-13 over that span. Is that the real Celtics, or is it the team that started the season winning 22 of the first 27 games? That’s the question Ainge has to answer, and time is running out.
Player of the Game: Darren Collison. The Hornets rookie who was starting in place of the injured Chris Paul routinely broke down the Celtics defense with dribble penetration and finished with 25 points and nine assists. When Collison wasn’t getting into the paint, he killed them with his pull-up jump shot.
Turning Point: Once again the Celtics collapse started with a sluggish offense and carried over to a lackluster defensive effort. The Celtics actually held serve with the Hornets until the 7:26 mark of the third quarter. That was when Morris Peterson and Peja Stojakovic began to heat up from behind the arc. The 3-point barrage was eerily similar to the Magic game, as was the Celtics lack of an answer on offense.
* Ray Allen was scratched about an hour before the game with back spasms. It was the first game Allen has missed this season.
* The Celtics started off hot, but the Hornets got hotter making eight of their first 10 shots.The C’s also turned the ball over nine times in the first quarter.
* The second unit rode to the rescue, at least momentarily, with an inspired effort. With all five starters on the bench, the reserves opened up a nine-point lead in the second quarter. They did most of their damage down low as Glen Davis (nine points) and Rasheed Wallace (eight points) took advantage of mismatches against the Hornets reserve big men.
* Paul Pierce did play despite pain in his left foot. After 13 points in the first half, Pierce scored just two points in the second.
* The Celtics made just 3-of-13 free throws during a stretch of the second half.
* Daniels and Wallace were the only Celtics who played strong games. They combined for 27 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
|Celtics vs. Hornets: Third quarter wrap||at 9:57 pm ET|
The Celtics starters came out with better energy to start the second half, but worse execution. The Hornets began to chip away at the lead as Morris Peterson and Peja Stojakovic heated up from 3-point range, giving this game the familiar feel of the Orlando nightmare from over the weekend.
Doc Rivers went to his bench earlier than usual in an attempt to change the flow of the game, but the Hornets kept making shots. The Celtics also missed six straight free throws, which didn’t help the cause. When it was over, New Orleans had outscored the Celtics, 29-12 and taken a 72-67 lead.
They have 12 minutes to turn this thing around, or face a host of uncomfortable questions over the next week.
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